Life with a Robot

We bought a Roomba. We’ve had it for a day now. The hope was that it’d help us keep the laminate floors cleaner than we were able to manually, that it might at least cut down on the spots we miss when sweeping. And so far it might do ok in that regard. 

At least, in some spots. 

Here’s what happened when we first turned it on. It cleaned up a bit in the library, the room where we’re keeping its dock for now. Then it spent a bit getting in front of the main entry. The cats, terrified at the new mobile noisy thing, ran under the bed. Roomba then therefore decided that was the place to be and rocketed under there, only to lead to the cats fleeing in a panic. It hung out under the bed for a while, ran out of juice, and needed to charge.

Followed a similar pattern the next two times we ran it. When I got home and Erin demonstrated it to me (it arrived while I was at work) it made its way back to the same spot by the front door literally 8 times, as well as under the bed some more, though it did make it into the living room and the kitchen. At the end of this cycle it found where Erin was sitting on the couch, started bumping into the couch repeatedly with its “I NEED TO DOCK AND RECHARGE” light lit up until she took pity on it and moved it back to its main room… where it started cleaning again for a bit before then deciding to dock.

We both agreed it seemed rather cat-like. 

Zoe decided that it was a girl and chose to name it “Crazy” because of how it bumped into everything constantly. For similar reasons I started calling it “Corky”, but not wanting to give Zoe anything funny / inappropriate to take to school, I changed my mind to the more directly relevant “Moron.” Erin (who has actually been looking at Roomba costumes that people have created online) wanted to call it “Wheatley” after an enthusiastic but dim robot from the game Portal 2. We all found we stuck to our own names for it, too, which was funny.

In spite of our dismissive names it seems to be doing alright. The areas its cleaned are very very clean, we just wish it’d decide its done with those spots and move on a little quicker. It does have to be said that it gets some of the little crevices we miss with a broom. We definitely have to empty it after every session because the cat hair it picks up is sufficient to fill its tiny little bay. And it’s louder than expected (certainly quieter than a full size vacuum), a bit like one of those swiffer vacuums. Still, though, a vacuum where you can push a button and then fuck off for an hour while the robot does your housework is a nice idea. 

Hopefully it lasts long enough to make up for its price.